Mayuka targeting Southampton return after Sochaux loan

By Oluwashina OkelejiBBC Sport, Lagos
Emmanuel Mayuka
Emmanuel Mayuka

Zambia striker Emmanuel Mayuka hopes to convince Mauricio Pochettino that he can play a part at Southampton after a season-long loan at French side Sochaux.

The 23-year-old joined the Saints with a big reputation after winning the Africa Cup of Nations with Zambia in 2012, scoring the winner to take them into the final, but he then struggled to make a real impact at Southampton.

Now he has set his sights on a place in Pochettino's squad for next season, as the manager considers his options.

Mayuka was a regular for Sochaux during his loan stint. Although he scored four goals in 21 appearances , he could not help secure their top-flight survival in France.

Looking ahead, he is keen to pick up up where he left off with the Saints.

"I won't consider my first season in England as a failure because I didn't really get enough opportunities," Mayuka told BBC Sport.

"On a personal note this loan has helped me regain confidence and I can take positives away even though I would have loved for the club to stay up.

"They gave me a chance to enjoy regular football again. I can only thank the club and wish them well for the future.

"Now my primary objective is to go back to Southampton to try and convince the manager that I deserve a chance in the team.

Mayuka, who has 45 international caps, joined Southampton from Young Boys Berne in August 2012 for an undisclosed fee and scored his only goal in the 5-1 Capital One Cup victory at Barnsley in August 2013.

"The English league is different and the intensity is why people describe it as the most exciting," he added.

"I'm confident that given the chance, next season will be a successful one for me."

Mayuka scored 32 times in two seasons in Switzerland and was joint top scorer for Zambia when they won the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations.